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Star City in Monongalia County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

The B & O Railroad

1886-1987

 
 
The B & O Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, June 14, 2022
1. The B & O Railroad Marker
Inscription.  
Star City on Track
Over the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a growing number of factories opened in Morgantown and the surrounding area. The Fairmont, Morgantown, and Pennsylvania (FM&P) Railroad was the first completed in Monongalia County, with construction completed in 1886. The trains serving Star City were operated by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as part of the FM&P Railroad subdivision.

Access to the World
The FM&P railroad was a key player in transporting goods for the local factories and coal mines. Products and materials were loaded and offloaded directly from railroad cars at factories and mines along the tracks. Passengers also regularly travelled using the rail line. Destinations ranged from across the Monongahela River to Pittsburgh with connections throughout the United States. The FM&P added a Star City station only after local factories were well-established.

The World Comes to Star City
Many of the area's residents welcomed the railroad's arrival, but some feared industrialization and change. In his 1885 speech celebrating Morgantown's centennial anniversary,
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Senator Waitman T. Willey said "our society will be broken."

End of the Line?
With the growing popularity of automobile travel in the mid-20th century, fewer passengers chose to use the railroads. Consequently, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad began consolidating its holdings and focusing on freight transport. In 1963, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad acquired the B&O and its subdivisions, including the FM&P, to create the "Chessie System". In 1987, the B&O Railroad merged with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and in the 2000s found new life as the Mon River Rail-Trail.

(Captions):

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Bridge During the Flood of 1888, Morgantown, W. Va. (1888)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Monongalia Historical Society - West Virginia History OnView

Company L Leaving Morgantown for Mobilization, Morgantown, W. Va. (1917)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Creator Scott Gibson Source: Ruby LePera - West Virginia History OnView

Baltimore and Ohio Locomotive, Morgantown, W. Va. (1906)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Creator: Scott Gibson Source: Ruby LePera - West Virginia History OnView

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
The B & O Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, June 15, 2022
2. The B & O Railroad Marker
Marker is in the front left.
Depot, Morgantown, W. Va. (1894)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Morgantown Bicentennial Commission - West Virginia History OnView

Willey, Waitman T. of Morgantown, W. Va. (1811-1900)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Unknown - West Virginia History OnView

Baltimore and Ohio Passenger Train, Morgantown, W. Va. (1940-1950)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company - West Virginia History OnView

 
Erected 2021 by West Virginia Humanities Council, Upper Monongahela River Association and Laick Design. (Marker Number 6.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
 
Location. 39° 39.593′ N, 79° 59.458′ W. Marker is in Star City, West Virginia, in Monongalia County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Frontier Street and University Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located in Edith Barill Riverfront Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Morgantown WV 26505, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Honor Roll Star City, W.Va. (a few steps from this marker);
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John F. Kennedy Memorial Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Veterans Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Locks and Dams (within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Water Quality (within shouting distance of this marker); Socialism in Star City (within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Founding of Star City (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Star City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 240 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 27, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 3, 2024